On Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 9:00 a.m., the following members of Synod gathered at the Cathedral Church of All Saints, Halifax for the 149th session of the Synod of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island:
The Most Rev. Ron Cutler, Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada, Chair
Mrs. Daphne Beeler, St. Mark’s, Halifax, Chair of the Episcopal Search Committee
Mrs. Jan Connors, St. George’s Halifax
The Rev. Canon Gordon Redden, Acting Executive Secretary of Synod
The Very Rev. Paul Smith, Dean of the Cathedral Church of All Saints
Mrs. Connors was asked to take notes of the proceedings.
The Metropolitan led in prayer.
Given that the state of emergency existing in response to the Covid 19 pandemic prohibited the gathering of any groups of more than 10 people, it was deemed impossible to obtain a quorum of members to conduct the work of the Synod, the Metropolitan read Canon 1, section 12(2) to the members of the Electoral Synod present:
“If a quorum is not present at the time appointed for the opening of an electoral synod, the members present may adjourn from time to time until a quorum is obtained and it is not necessary that any further summons be sent to the members of the electoral synod.”
It was then moved by Canon Redden, seconded by Dean Smith that “According to Canon 1 section 12 (2), an absence of a quorum being noted, it is resolved that the Electoral Synod be adjourned to September 12, 2020, and if a quorum not be present at that time, a further adjournment shall occur to a date to be determined.”
The resolution was passed unanimously by those present.
The Episcopal Search Committee is please to present the following nominees for the position of Bishop of the Diocese:
- The Reverend Katherine Bourbonniere
- The Reverend Carl Fraser
- The Reverend Sandra Fyfe
- The Reverend Elliott Siteman
The provincial restrictions placed on the number of people permitted to gather combined with the restrictions on interprovincial travel have made it necessary to conclude that the Electoral Synod scheduled for May 30th cannot proceed as planned.
In consultation with the Archbishop and the Diocesan Chancellor, we see no possibility that this situation will change sufficiently within the next 25 days to allow the Synod to take place.
While the Constitution and canons of the Diocese do not permit us to officially postpone the Synod from May 30 to a future date, we are at this point advising you not to make plans to gather at All Saints Cathedral on May 30th. Please do not make travel plans and do not make hotel reservations.
On May 30th, under the provisions of Canon 1, section 12.2, five members of Synod will gather in person and pass a resolution to postpone the Electoral Synod to September 12 2020, which is a date chosen by Diocesan Council.
The list of nominees for election to the office of diocesan bishop will be circulated on May 16th.
The Rev'd Canon Gordon Redden
Acting Executive Secretary of Synod
At this time we continue to plan for an Electoral Synod to take place on May 30 2020. However we are making contingency plans in the event that we are prevented from gathering by the Public Health Emergency. This means that:
- lists of eligible members of the Synod are being prepared.
- The Episcopal search committee has received names proposed as nominees, those individuals have been contacted and asked to submit the required consent and police record checks by April 20. The eligible nominees will be determined today and requested to submit written responses to questions. The list of nominees will be released to members of synod and made available through social media on May 16.
In the event that it appears likely that we will be unable to gather for the synod, we will send a notification to members of synod by May 4th.
If the Synod cannot take place on May 30, the Diocesan Council has selected September 12 2020 as the alternate date for the gathering of the synod. This gathering will only take place if the restrictions on gathering have been lifted and there are no restrictions on travel between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (i.e. no quarantine periods for inter-provincial travel). We will observe best practices for social gatherings at that time- physical distancing and the provision of hand washing and sanitizing facilities. The Canon on the election of a bishop has no provision for electronic balloting and requires the entire synod membership to be gathered in one place.
The written materials and video recordings made by nominees will be released by August 22. We remind members of Synod that the election of a bishop is a prayerful discernment, not a political process.
In addition to the requested material, there will be a “Town Hall” panel gathering of nominees on August 29. This will take place at the Cathedral Church of All Saints and be moderated by the Episcopal Search Committee. This event will be live streamed and recorded.
Some people have asked about the possibility of Archbishop Cutler deferring the date of his retirement in the event the electoral synod cannot take place on May 30. Diocesan Canon 1 and the Canons of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada make no provision to rescind a resignation once it has been accepted.
Our Diocese does have a canonical provision for interim leadership in the absence or incapacity of a bishop. This period is governed by Canon 3 (link). According to this Canon, the Diocesan Council will appoint a group of 3 clergy as diocesan administrators. Their duties are defined in the Canon. They will serve until the consecration of a new Diocesan bishop. The Diocesan Council will appoint the administrators at their June 12-13 meeting.
To: Parishes of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
From: The Reverend Canon Gordon Redden, Acting Executive Secretary of Synod
Date: March 16, 2020
Subject: Process for proposing names for nomination for election as Coadjutor Bishop
Pursuant to the call for an Electoral Synod communicated on February 11, 2020, please find below the process for proposing names for nomination for election as Coadjutor Bishop.
1. Electoral Synod process: The search, proposal, nomination and election process are determined by Diocesan Canon 1: Election, Appointment, Consecration and Resignation of Bishops.
2. Search Committee: Diocesan Council has appointed an Episcopal Search Committee composed of Daphne Beeler, Robert Sheppard, Jordan Waterbury and The Reverends Brieanna Andrews, Colin Nicolle and Laura Marie Piotrowicz. Council appointed Edith Marshall as Secretary to the Search committee.
3. Description of Qualifications and Requirements: The Search Committee has prepared a written description of the qualifications and requirements of our next Diocesan Bishop and it has been approved at a special meeting of Diocesan Council on March 13, 2020.
4. Who can propose names for nomination to the Search Committee? Any member of Synod and members of the Provincial House of Bishops may propose names to the Search Committee. The Search Committee may, in its own right, propose names.
5. Parishioners who are not eligible, as defined above, to propose names, may discuss the proposed name with their Synod delegate(s) and the Synod delegate may propose the name on behalf of the parishioner.
6. Process for proposing a name or names to the Search Committee:
a. Any member of Synod may submit in writing to the Secretary of the Episcopal Search Committee the name or names of any person or persons proposed by the member for nomination as Coadjutor Bishop.
b. A person proposed for nomination must be a priest or bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada or a church in full communion therewith who is at least thirty years and less than seventy years of age.
c. A person proposed for nomination must also meet the criteria set out in General Qualifications and Requirements for the Bishop of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island attached to this notice.
d. The following information must be supplied for each person proposed:
i. The name of the person
ii. the clerical position or office currently held by the person
iii. The address of the person
iv. The telephone number and email address of the person
v. A statement that the person has consented to be proposed.
e. Proposed names should be sent or delivered to:
Secretary, Episcopal Search Committee
Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
1340 Cathedral Lane
Halifax NS B3H 2Z1
Proposed names may also be sent by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for receiving proposed names is no later than midnight ADT on Saturday, April 4th, 2020.